President fires DG for Public Procurement over Chinese Tender Award

Zambian President Michael Sata has fired the director general of the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) over alleged growing controversies about how telecom tenders have been awarded to Chinese companies. However, ZPPA has alleged that there is too much political interference in the manner tenders are awarded to companies. Ministry of finance and national planning permanent secretary Felix Nkulukusa confirmed Sata has terminated the employment of Danies Chisenda as director general.

“Another person will soon be appointed to act in the position for administrative convenience,” Nkulukusa told the media. The Zambian government has so far cancelled two telecom tenders awarded to ZTE and Star Software Technologies over the manner the tenders were awarded following public outcries. ZTE’s $210 million contract involved the installation of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras but was allegedly awarded without following the tender procedure. Fears also existed that the cost of the project may have been inflated by ZTE. The CCTV camera project is a ministry of home affairs initiative planned to assist with crime prevention, traffic management and the general monitoring of the streets in the capital Lusaka.

In September this year, the Zambian government further cancelled a $220 million tender for the supply, delivery and commissioning of the national digital terrestrial broadcasting system awarded to Star Software Technologies on grounds that tender procedure was not followed in awarding the tender. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has already launched investigations into the irregularities that forced the cancellation of the tenders.

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